Outlook: You either love Elfi or you hate her, though it's safe to say most hate her. There is even a blog entitled Why I Don't Like Elfi Schlegel, and while the blog has nothing to do with Elfi it is the best blog title one could ask for. Elfi's biased commentary should get worse as the Olympics approach, and will no doubt be making early, and probably inaccurate, predictions for the U.S. to mostly win everything on the women's side. Beware of awkward, blunt, and inaccurate remarks from this commentator.
Fun Fact: At the 2003 Worlds-team finals Elfi made a shocking remark to Alexandra Chevtchenko (Russia), saying she didn't expect her to make the team because of her severe lack of talent. Subsequently, Chevtchenko nailed her opening piked full-in. However, Chevtchenko followed up with two scary falls and for once, I would have to say that Elfi was right to call such a blunt remark.
Cons: Al Trautwig pretends to be an expert on gymnastics when he is hardly even a semi-casual viewer. He frequently alludes to baseball with gymnastics, when gymnastics diehards such as myself don't give a damn about baseball and want our limited gymnastics TV coverage to be about GYMNASTICS ONLY. Al is incredibly biased, even among U.S. gymnasts. At last year's Nationals Al, and really the entire Anything but Fab 3, were basically saying how Shawn Johnson is the best gymnast ever and how Nastia Liukin is so old and washed up.
Outlook: Al occasionally makes a valid, or humorous remark, but try your best to tune out everything he says this summer. His commentary is biased nonsense and probably hasn't even heard any of the international contenders at these Olympics. On the bright side Trautwig generally pronounces gymnasts' names accurately.
Fun Fact: Nastia Liukin commented after winning the 2008 Scam Cup about how many people had ridden her off and she was looking to prove her naysayers wrong. Al commented, "I wonder who ever would've remarked anything badly about Nastia Liukin." HAHAHA You know that comment from Liukin was directed right at you, Al, just admit it.
- The BBC and Australian commentators are far superior in my opinion; they don't build the drama to the point where it overshadows the actual gymnastics being done. I particularly like Mitch Fenner and Christine Still from BBC. They go in detail on gymnastics technique and explain why a skill goes right or wrong. They are biased for the Europeans, however, but still should provide great commentary of these Olympics which should eventually be found on Youtube.
- NBC better be armed with some good fluff pieces at these Games. I will hardly be able to stand the Anything but Fab 3, but I will be able to watch if fluff saves the day.
- Live commentary of team finals and AA finals for both the men and women will be interesting. Hopefully in AA finals NBC will consistently show us the top two groups of gymnasts, the women's side in particular should be a deep one in that event.
- If all else fails NBC better show us all eight competitors in each event final. This could actually come close to happening with NBC likely showing the majority of lesser viewed events online.
Next Post: 2008 U.S. Nationals preview-women
That is all.